Men of faith are not always faithful men. And the vice versa is also true. A man of faith has great trust in the person of Jesus. He believes without wavering doubt that what God said will come to pass. A faithful man is one who delivers/ acts on what he believes. There are faithful men but faithful for the wrong causes and reasons. There is such a thing as a faithful sinner. He will deliver his iniquity on time and in the best executable manner. Take Paul, the apostle for example. He persecuted followers of Christ faithfully. He was devoted, dedicated and diligent in his pursuit albeit the wrong direction.
A man of faith is a man with a vision. A faithful man is a man with direction. If you have a vision without direction, you will see the Promised Land at a distance but you will never really get there. If you have direction without vision, you may just be moving at 100 miles and hour in the wrong route. Faith shows us where to go. Being faithful gets us there.
Jesus Christ is the epitome of the man of faith who is faithful at the same time. When Lazarus, one of Jesus’ good friends, died, Jesus wept. Lazarus’ sisters were broken. If only Jesus was here a bit earlier, he could prevent their brother from dying. But alas! Our God is the author of time. Even four days late he is still on time. So he has a mind to raise his friend from the dead. Jesus asks the people to roll away the stone covering the tomb so that he can perform the miracles. He then asks Lazarus to walk out of the grave and we have the dead man walking again. Lazarus lives! Nothing is impossible with God.
Why doesn’t Jesus just throw a lightning bolt to burst the tombstone open? He asks the people to roll it. Why? Couldn’t he just move it? I mean he was God wasn’t he? Yes he could. But he asks men to do a task that will open a door for him to do something great if not greater! The task is not beyond God’s reach. It is just within man’s jurisdiction. It is one thing to believe when Jesus says your brother will live again. But if he asks you to roll away the stone, you may never see your brother if you do not do it, even if he rises from the dead. He will be trapped behind a stone you didn’t roll away. Rolling the stone is within your jurisdiction. Otherwise, your faith will be dead (no pun intended).
Lazarus rose from the dead because of the power of Christ. But he left the grave because of the faithfulness of the men that Christ instructed. Men of faith need to put their faith to the act. Do it. It is one thing to have faith that God has led you to the right Christ-like relationship dear gentleman. But you have to take the step and ask the lady out. Prayer and fasting will not roll that stone for you; obedience will.
The priests in the Bible during the time of Joshua were instructed by God to step into the waters of the Jordan and the waters would part. This was during the season when the Jordan floods. I can imagine it must have been scary to do so! But they did. The waters parted. Do we not believe the same God will make things work when we men of faith dip our feet in the Jordans of today? We want God to part the waters and then we will step in not the other way round. Or we step in with one foot to determine if God is serious. Let me ask you a question. Imagine you visited your mother and she sent you to get some flour in the nearby shop. She gave you 500sh for flour. You buy the flour at 300 sh and bring back her change i.e. 200 sh. A few minutes later, you find her on the phone talking to the shopkeeper. You ask her what’s going on. She says she was just checking with the shopkeeper to confirm that the price is 300 sh and that you didn’t steal from her. How would you feel? Terrible right? She’s your own blood. How can she not trust you on something so small? It’s what we do to God every time we put one foot in the water and not go fully by faith. We treat him the same way that mother treated his son. How does it feel? Terrible of course! And he asks the same question we would ask our mother. You are my child, my blood; trust me on this small issue. And believe me it is small. The things God asked men of old to do if he asked of us today we’d go bonkers.
Abram woke up one fine morning and God told him, “Go to where I will show you.” Wow, so much for direction! Where do I start, Ngong Road or Mombasa Road? But he went. Would we go or would we be more concerned in explaining to people what we’re doing? Noah was told build an ark. Mind you, it had never rained in all history by then. The only water that fell from the sky at that time was from the top bunker of a brother who wet his bed. Yet Noah built the massive ship. Would you build God an ark even if he availed all the materials for free? You say, maybe in my basement where nobody can see it. Be faithful men as well and put your faith to action.
Our God is an awesome God! For me, I believe that means we should have an awesome lifestyle. An awesome lifestyle not of Gucci and Prada but of experiences that baffle men to want to know this God. Of intimate adventures in the presence of a Holy God. Of healing relationships and practical faith. That people may see and nothing in this world could top it. That no Guinness World record could explain. That no scientist, celebrity or politician could fathom. The love of a God who desires men of faith to be faithful men.
James 2:17 (NIV) In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.